More smiles 

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It’s been a while. I feel better. I went on with life trying to stay positive everyday and taking some time to feel when I need to. I cried a bunch. There was pain there. Anger too. Not sure why but it’s out now.

I have not spoken to my therapist in one month. The first two weeks were the hardest. I took a break from humanity too so that did not help because I was battling with self hate and my break from people gave me no distractions.

I then pulled myself out of that darkness. Faced my fears and tears and now I feel better.

I like the simplicity of my life. I do pray for more. Now I know anything is possible with God. So I pray for the impossible and trust on his divine favor.

When I was in my two weeks of darkness I also worried a lot about meeting the right person. God gave me this to ponder on and adopt: “child like faith.”

I have no clue where my soulmate is or who he is but I am told to have a child like faith.

A faith that does not doubt. So I am being faithful.

xoxox

I.

BYE SKINNY 

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I used to believe that if I was skinny then I would finally feel whole and happy. That I would be loved. Only when I reach perfection then I would deserve to be loved.

I could not be more wrong.

When I turned 27, a year ago, I finally decided to not diet again. My health does not require it even though I am slightly overweight. I want it to happen naturally because when food is my focus I lose sight of life. Food is my drug and unlike other types of drugs, I have to learn to co-exist with it.

So no more diet. No more trendy detox. No more fad diet and not just this summer but forever, I hope. I am healing my relationship with food.

xoxoxoxo

I.

Numb

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This week-end was not easy. Saturday I had my dog’s training, I usually look forward to it. It takes place in a forest like park with loads of dogs around and they are just hilarious to be around. But this saturday even if I was not having it, I somehow managed to pull myself out of bed and join the training group. My only motivation was the memories of my past fun experiences with my furry besties and the fresh air, the fresh air had to do some good.

Then I went home. I had a skype meeting all day for an association I am part of. We had an election. I knew that I was proposed to be one of the three VP but the truth is I really don’t want that position. I have so much on my plate already and my own projects that this year I wanted to prioritise myself. I was not assertive enough in my arguments and ended up one of the VPs for three years. God help me ! I hope this will be a learning experience for sure.

Numb? I cannot feel anything at the moment. Food is calling me. I win the fights. Sometimes I am so numb and tired that all I want to do is to sleep. I wake up the next day without feeling refreshed or rested. The numbness continues.

I know there is a feeling wanting to resurface but I am not letting it.

Then it did. Sadness. I feel sad. Why? I don’t feel like I want to create. I want to be held, hugged, loved. I need to love myself. But right now I am too tired.

Angry at you !

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I feel a little sad today and angry. Angry at my mother. She was completely hiatus over easter. I called twice and landed on voicemail. She called me yesterday and said she had been travelling. I understand that but couldn’t you send a text. She is over 70 and I worry. I worry sick about her. I am also angry because once again for the thousandth times my mother is not caring. I know that about her now, still it is difficult to accept. Difficult because it is sad and I feel as if time is running out.

I  do my part, I call. Avoid talking about her work, which is her love and obsession. Then I usually hang up the phone with a heavy heart. I wish it could change but it won’t. I have expressed myself to her for my sake but to no avail. People don’t change.

Last night, I did what I wanted. I did not binge or fall into an unhealthy habit. Yet, I knew something was going on. A feeling was there but I wanted to turn away. It was anger and sadness. I don’t like when anger visits because it makes me feel guilty. Guilty that I am mad at my mother for being who she is. I felt guilty until I realised that I am entitled to feel angry. That was this morning. I have been going through this since my arrival on the earth. My mother never expressed her love even when i needed it. That is who she is. I let my anger bottle up and now it wants a way out.

So there you have it. Mother I love you but oh Gosh am I pissed at you !

xoxoxo

I.

I made it through an evening

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When I started therapy I thought that at some point I would be completely free from the desire to use food as a source of comfort. It turns out, it is not all that easy.

Yesterday, I spent the day at work waiting for feedback on my last task. Nothing came. I started doubting my work, thinking : it must be crap, that is why I have not heard anything. It turns out my reviewer was simply too busy. I asked her for an update.

In the evening I wanted to do something for myself. When I arrived home, I grabbed my dog’s collar and the dog with it and headed for the beach. It was not crowded, just the way I like it. My dog did not behave well though. He is in heat again so it was difficult to manage him. He ran after a labrador, then a border collie and would not leave the collie alone. So I had to leash my dog. I felt a little disappointed because he was so good a few days ago. I guess it was not his fault. Just hormones. That said, I called the vet earlier this week for a chemical castration and scheduled an appointment already. This is to see if my dog’s behaviour improves. I really hope so.

Well, apart from my dog obsessed with sniffing other people’s dogs. It was a fun evening. I felt some triggers to reach for food as comfort and sleep it off but I stayed strong. The reason why I wanted to use food again was because I felt lonely. At the beach I embraced the vastness of the water, its calming sound and the fact that at anytime I can come here and regroup. That walk somewhat stabilised and strenghtened me.

I sometimes dream that one day I will go the beach and walk my dog while holding someone else’s hand. You know, someone I love and who would love me back. I have not found him and he has not found me. This makes me sad sometimes. I tell myself I just have to be patient. I will not put my life on hold and focus on something I cannot control, I have done that before. It has not worked. I will enjoy my life and surely we will cross paths.

In the meantime, there will be more beach walks on my own with my furry bestie.

xoxoxox

I.

Easter warrior 

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My Easter was not about being with family quite the contrary it was all about being on my own.

For some this might be easy, and others, may be a little like me, it is a struggle. You see when I have space for myself and I create space for myself, I have to deal with who I am. I didn’t really know “me” before, so it’s all very new, all very scary .

I live far away from my family (12 hours flight), I don’t have friends here. I have colleagues and acquaintances but no-one I would qualify as friends. This is fine with me. If I listened to my self-abusive judgmental thoughts: I would think that not having friends is weird, pathetic and ultimately I have “failed” in that department.

My reality is that my family couldn’t care less about what is going on in my life, I used to care in way to seek for their love and acceptance. But now since I realised that it did me more harm than good, I don’t anymore. I prefer to take care of my own self love and self acceptance. As for society, well, the several billion of us have too much on our plate to care for one little soul who has manufactured rules around her little life and gets sad about it. So I decided that over Easter, I was not going to fly to see a sibling or a parent or spend it with a “friend”. I was going to experience it on my own. I did the same over Christmas 2016. It was a much-needed experience.

At the end of the day I only have myself to account for and even when I will be in a relationship, I will still always have myself to account for. I have myself to improve before I experiencing any situations around me.

Since I knew I would be emotional, nostalgic and judgmental toward myself, and since I used to have issues with food, the first thing I did was to make sure that I had the bare minimum of food at home over the week-end. So two types of vegetables, two types of meat and some pasta or rice. I call them “food with effort” which makes it more effort consuming now to binge on. I find it easier to interrupt the urge to binge and come into a place of reflection or self-examination before my brain is gone into a frenzy of making food. “Food with effort” because I cannot just reach for meat and eat it raw.

I then make a big batch, store it in the fridge and take a little at every meal. I also bought fruits, salty popcorn and sweet popcorn. Why ? Because when I watch a movie I like to have a snack. Popcorn are lighter snacks and they are not trigger foods. I avoid any trigger foods like: chocolate, cookies, cakes, chips, especially when I know I will be feeling a little lonely in my weaker minutes.

The second thing I did was to tune in, and listen to myself and listen to what I wanted to do. Since I had decided to take this time for myself, I wanted to know what I wanted and not be on automatic pilot. Friday I wanted to stay at home and do some chores around the house and I did that guilt free. I was fully aware that cleaning can be obsessive for me sometimes as well but much easier to manage. There is this light in my head that just says, hey, enjoy the couch and leave half the laundry. You did enough.

Saturday morning, I went to the beach to set myself and my dog free. It is always a fun experience. My dog doesn’t like nature, he prefers to run to where the bungalows and the restaurants and to follow people around instead of just enjoying the vastness of the beach. Eventually he enjoyed the abundance of sand, the scary sound of the water and the starling cold of the puddles around him, watching him was funnier than the Today’s show. I enjoyed every minute of it. As I drove home I felt lonely because I was judging myself again. There were families at the beach, and friends windsurfing. I was on my own. I eventually moved out of that mode and  enjoyed my moments. I thought: hey ! I’m all right been on my own and when and if I was around anybody it’s just so much work. Immediately I was back to my grounded place, I went for a coffee run, a muffin and headed home. Relaxed all afternoon, movies, writing, sitting on my terrace, guilt free.

Easter Sunday, I wanted to go to church do I went. I wanted to thank God for, well, pretty much everything. Church means family setting though, I missed my family in spite of their imperfections. I was also hoping to hang out with one of my friends but she had to go to a birthday party and kind of ditched me. Usually, I would drop her home after church and we have a laugh in the car. I don’t mind doing that. On sunday, she was just trying to walk away while I was talking to her instead of being upfront and say hey I am going to do so and so, can’t hang out today. So I  a little hurts, I brushed it off in the beginning and thought it was not a problem but then I realized that I was a little hurt. It might also have been my expectations, as I drove home I thought, this is why I should not expect anything from anyone. I went for a coffee run and headed home. I felt unwanted after that, a feeling that is difficult for me to deal with. As I drove home and I counted my blessings, and let the feeling of rejection sit there and remain with me.

I counted my blessings in that a little over a year ago, I was struggling with rejecting who I am, and materially I was struggling to get a car, to sort out my license, I was trying to move out of my parent’s house and struggling with the idea of living on my own. Now, in my world, taking care of myself is a priority. I don’t mean that in a narcissistic selfish kind of way, I mean that in a way where if you’ve been struggling with yourself and you’ve been hating yourself for years and you’ve been having self-confidence issues and you’ve been feeling unloved. Then at the end of the day none of the external things matter what matters is you, you are a priority and if a parent doesn’t give you the love an guidance you need and if significant people around you didn’t teach you much. It doesn’t matter what age you are, you can teach yourself to love you, and it is fine to want to be loved because you are human after all.

Easter Monday wasn’t an easy day, I was challenged with two emotions loneliness and contentment. Usually easter monday was a family day for me. We used to go for picnics, the beach, reunions it was always fun. So I felt like I should do something special that I should be out there at a park or the beach I should take advantage of Easter Monday because that’s what people do. I did not want to truly do any of that and instead of accepting that I wanted to relax in my appartment away from people and not make easter monday anything more special than the fact that it was another day off; I started thinking that I was a pathetic, sad, little lonely person and that spending easter alone was a big mistake.

What else do you tell yourself when you are so used to messing with your head and letting a family that is living miles away and a whole culture affect your internal, your self confidence. My compass missed out on its orientation for so long that sometimes it still points to the mistaken convictions.

Eventually, mid-afternoon I just accepted that I didn’t want to go anywhere that I want to do anything. I wanted to be lazy in bed, watch movies, play with my dog, teach him new tricks. That is what I did, guit free eventually.

The hell with : “that’s what people do”. 

xoxoxox

I.

Accepting “me”

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I used to be so afraid of being on my own. I am not sure whether to write this post in the past or the present tense because I still continue to struggle with that fear. Present tense it is then.

My fear of feeling alone has nothing to do with: not being in a relationship or not being around people. Hence the difference with being physically alone. Instead it is about being with ” myself “. So here I am writing to remind me that it is ok to be with my own company.

Running away from my emotions
A few months after I started therapy and really working on myself, I realized that when I was not thinking about food exercise cleaning, daydreaming about a perfect family or a perfect relationship then I was left with facing “me”. The person on the inside. I was left with the emotions I never wanted to feel especially the negative emotions, I was constantly running away from. There I was with my pain, sadness, anger, shame, guilt… I was left being “a human being”, a sensitive person, an emotional person, a state I never allowed myself to be as if it was illegal to FEEL.

Instead of letting these emotions run through me, I punished myself through controlling food, exercise and through rituals that permitted me to constantly drown in my own pity party. Yet, none of it ever gave me any energy instead it drained the life out of me. The pity torturous party was followed by the worst hang over, guilt and shame. I wasn’t actually living my life and being who I am.

I was running from it because it was not the perfect life I should have.  I was too busy running away, punishing myself believing that I was the ugliest, the worst person and that I was a failure because I could never ever be perfect in my eyes or in anyone else’s eyes.

From imaginary thoughts to reality
Today I went to the beach with my little dog. I was hoping noone would be there  because I did not want to see any human beings around me. I didn’t want to deal with my thoughts that the people may think I’m fat or that I am pathetic because I’m on my own and I have no one around me. I did not want to deal with these imaginary judgments.

That’s just it though they are just imaginary thoughts. Even if  people around me might be thinking that I am whatever it is that they think I might be, at the end of the day it doesn’t really make a difference. I can just go on about my day and just be. Easy to say but since I have gotten so used to devilising myself these thoughts still come up often. In fact, just a few months, maybe a year ago,  those thoughts would’ve stop me from enjoying a walk at the beach on my own with the cutest dog in the world.

Not where I “should” be
As I drove back from the beach I realized that I am 28 now, at the end of this year I’ll be 29 and at the end of next year I’ll be 30. I also realized that in spite of all of my controlling in the past, I am still not the image of the person that I thought I should be. I wanted to be thin with perfect hair, perfect skin. Only then, I believed, I could be loved by anyone. Truth is only then I would love myself. You see because only then would I look perfect.

I forgot the part that none of that mattered so long as I embraced my extra weight, sometimes dry hair and blemished skin. I was also blinded from the fact that I could not be thin without abusing myself. I misunderstood what dieting or healthy eating was. I used it to my own advantage to torture myself to attain the impossible.

At this point, since as early as 13 years old, I set myself a goal that : I had to be a lawyer and married with a dog and one or two kids in my twenties. Because this is what I should do to be the perfect daughter, sister or whatever. I still want this but in reality I have absolutely no control over it.

Law, I can work toward, and I have, I still feel I want to progress but I believe it is a healthy motivation because it is rooted in me wanting to better myself for my own intellectual challenges.

Relationships, marriage etc…. It takes two and the second person has not walked into my life just yet. You see in my culture and may be just as a social construct in general, if you are passed 25 years old, my understanding was that I should already be either settled down, in a relationship or planning or somewhere along that path. Since none of that happened for me, I always thought that I was a failure, I still sometimes think that I’m a failure and that’s part of not accepting who I am, who I have become and where I am at now.

Making peace with my emotions
I became a little scared on my drive back home. Then, with some degree of logic and before I threw myself into my past habit of a pity party. I reminded myself that I am not so bad afterall. Even though I don’t have a perfect body, it is ironically twice the weight that I wish it was, my hair has become fluffier than ever and my skin has some acne free weeks and some “oh my gosh what the heck happened kind of week”.

At the end of the day if I keep running away  from myself, I will keep on missing out on who I am and missing out on my life. These days, often when I feel down or when start thinking “I’m a failure” . I reverse these thoughts by “getting real with myself”. I go through an exercise where I count my blessings and accept my imperfections. Where I bring to light what I could improve in my habits and most importantly congratulate myself for what I have achieved.

Peace with inner “me”
It has now become easier to sit with myself because I can accept who I am. I can accept when sadness, anger, joy, disappointment and fear that visits. The are at the end of the day what makes me the person I am and I am comfortable with that. I allow myself to cry, to be angry and scream into a pillow.

Accepting outer “me”
My physical self is much more difficult to accept because it is what is seen on the outside. Also because I tend to jump into judging myself or imaginning that others are judging me. There in lies my rejection. I have come to realize that it actually takes longer for my body to mould without me controlling it. Because it is a reflection. A reflection of what is inside. When I am broken and abused on the inside so it is mirrored on the outside.

The struggle continues
There are times, I can accept that I have one body and mind to love, one body and mind to cherish. That my body needs time to adjust, to change and that for me drastic self imposed change leads me down a path of destruction. My mind needs acceptance and understanding.

I guess what I am most thankful for is that this body and mind saw me through thick and thin. Literally. I have abused my body left and right. Starved it, overfed it, dehydrated it. Yet it is still standing. I now know that this will only happen from the inside out. With a lot of patience and acceptance.

I know this still journey has just started. I still have a long way to go. Yet I am thankful I had the courage to start it. I had the strenght to own up to my own abuse and to free myself for my illogical thoughts.

Therapy continues. Work continues. Acceptance fluctuates but at least it is there now.

xoxoxox

Izaotee

Triggers dissipate

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Since my last post my triggers have lessened. When I reflect on my past with ED, I realise every time how far I have come. Especially mentally. Physically, I am still overweight for my height and I need to start exercising. Mentally however, I am more aware and relatively accepting of who I am. So even when there are bad days it becomes somewhat easier and quicker to bounce back to my one and only objective. Accept life’s challenges and enjoy life’s repetitiveness and spontaneity.

Last week and this week triggers decreased without me really constantly focusing on them. I just went about my days and included treats in my routine. Not edible treats but experiences. On my own: cinema, walking in the park, at the beach with my dog and with others: cocktails with a good friend and Thai food with nice colleagues. I also worked on my jewelry making, that always draws me back to a more balanced state with a grounded sense of self.

I have also decided that I will be sharing tips on my “me times” because I started experimenting with using natural beauty products and to encourage others who are recovering from, living with ED, BED, self-esteem issues, body confidence to take the time to care for YOU without resorting to the good old frenemy FOOD. You can find these tips on the category “natural care”.

Take care !

xoxoxo

I.

To my eating disorder … Go away !

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If only I could tell it to just leave. Leave forever and never come back. Don’t linger here thinking you will get a hold of me again.

This morning I had to get my yearly referral for my psychologist. New GP. So I had to explain my story all over again. Where do I even start? When I was 14/15 bla bla bla bla.

Of course she has my file but I still have to explain. So the waterworks started. Memories are back. Feelings are here. I am 28 now and I still cry when I have to re-open the wound of my eating disorder. Quite frankly, I want it gone. Everyday I struggle. When I make it to bed without having restricted, purged or binged. It is my victory.

Lately there have been more victories. I love that. I love my life and I am liking myself. Hey ! I am not all that bad.

I am here to vent. I need to vent. I need to tell eating disorder voices to go away. Leave ! you have no audience in my head and there is no space left for you in my life.

You all know it is not as simple as that. Even so, today I am victorious again.

xoxox

i.

Be kind to you

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The beauty of blogging is in the freedom to write or not write. I have not been writing lately for no particular reason other than it just has not been the right time and I have not been in the right mindset. That said, my struggle to “be” continues. At times the fight is harder and in rare moments I am able to find some peace. I cherish those moments. Walks by the dunes, staring at the beach, the sky, the stars, drawing, designing, making clothes.

Then, there, I fell free, connected, one body, one soul. My physical appearance no longer matters. My bulging stomach becomes an insignificant worry and the XXL clothes? Well … just another thing of this world.

Since I last wrote, I have moved away from London, traveled to Africa and now back in the Netherlands. It has been a long long journey. I started a new job, a tedious, toxic one, but that was my choice. Now I need to work on getting out of it and finding something better. Living a well deserved life demands effort.

When I am not drained of energy, I motivate myself towards my freedom. Towards being the person that I really want to be. Although that remains undefined, I know aspects of what brings me peace within. Creativity being one of them. Self-expression, whether confronting a small conflict or asserting my ideas is another.

Since I have been denying myself of that right to “be”, it seems easier to give in and settle with the mistaken habits, of being someone else; until I realize, all I am doing is giving my power away to invisible influences. Quickly, I lose myself.

So, the struggle continues. I suspect, there is a high probability that  this will be a lifetime struggle. Though I hope, it will become easier with time.

I used to think that I needed a break from the World because it was so mean to me. Truth is, I was cruel to myself. Then I had another realization. There will always be bitter times, the trick is to live it. Feel it. I do not want to forget or escape anymore. It has not worked. Bingeing, over-exercising, starving, trying to be perfect has not worked. Self-torture has failed. Self-love is surely the answer.

I hope to have a little more of it today, tomorrow and in all the other days I have left on this earth.

This I write to you and myself, so we both remember to “be”.

izaotee

Unrecognisable

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Monday it rained. Charmingly grey outside.

I took the day off, because I worked all week-end. I did not binge, I was bored, I overate in the evening.

Tuesday, still raining. The grey in the exterior seeped into me.

I went out to shop for my brand. I saw a glimpse of myself in the store mirrors. I am unrecognisable. I have never been this fat, this sad. To get out of bed in the morning I have to practice a lot of self-affirmation. The “you can do it” and the “you are worth it” are my good morning kisses. It helps. Sometimes but not always. I am applying for a vacancy in a lawyers chambers. I don’t know if it worth it. I won’t find out unless I try. So here I am trying. When I want to curl up in bed. Sleep away my self-hatred and low self-esteem.

Just for today I wish London was sunny. Maybe that light would seep into to me.

izaotee

Rain

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When London rains, I reconnect with the city. The double decker buses shine their devilish red just enough below the gloomy skies. The sounds of rain drops camouflage the urban noises that sometimes clouds even the clearest summer days. Everything slows down for a breath of life. The city finds its right pace.

London was designed for its rain. They compliment each other like a dress that fits perfectly on the right silhouette. Without these tears from heaven the city  has no soul, it is out of control. Red bricks clash with the grey concrete of all too many street, too busy, too much, too harsh.

I am relieved that it rained today. I have gone two days without a binge and one overeating. The past two days I drew, collaged, paid bills looked for a new appartment and drew some more. I felt alive again. Those were sunny unfamiliar days. Thoughts did not consume me. I was shining inside. The rain drew me closer to the world. It made me want to get out of my bubble with enough safety that I could belong just for a moment in London. But I didn’t instead I used it as an excuse to stay inside one more day.

This morning it became more challenging to move past the anxiety and worries. I have not binged or overeaten. But  I need some space. Time to contemplate. I wanted to go out view some appartments and pay more bills but deep down I do not feel motivated. So when it started raining, there I found yet another excuse to stay in.

I loved the rain more from inside my appartment.

So here I am admiring the city under its rain drops trying to stitch my mind and body so that it does not tear apart and crave for an escape because of unresolved real and unreal conflicts that I deliberately ignored.

There lies the struggles today

Izaotee

Those who work at starbucks …

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Lost in deep hesitation that lasted a whole day, I stayed in my appartment.

I applied for jobs, worried  about my bills, my uncertain future, and tried to continue my design project. My body wanted to get out. My mind refused, finding the stupidest excuses. You could binge you know! You are too fat! Too ugly! Too lazy to put on some clothes and walk out! People will stare at you when you get there! People will wonder why you are still eating when you are already that large! They might wonder why you are drawing, writing and all alone! Stupid thoughts ! I ended up working on my design in the safety of my appartment. Opened the door to my little roof top. Stared at urban pigeons feeling free to parade before my eyes. London was sunny today. Beautiful and sunny. How could I let those hideous voices take over me? I walked out to the nearest starbucks, ordered a frapuccino and here I am writing on my phone feeling comfortable. As I walked in I looked around. People don’t care. They are just there some studying, others writing, franctically on their laptop, reading or tchating. No one was explicitly judging me, noone said any hurtful words to me.  At that moment, their thoughts were just theirs. I had imagined it all. Unable to hear them, they were harmless. Thoughts won’t kill me.

Today I became one of those who work at starbucks. Freed from the chains of my hideaway appartment. It felt fine.

Izaotee

Sleepless night

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23 43 – sleepless in my London appartment.

Thoughts invading my mind. Suprisingly I am not drowning in the urge to escape them. I had my dinner and am satisfied. Ignoring that little voices accomplice to my food splurges. The one that says well it is only just another muffin, you went a whole year without one.  That may be so but an extra muffin is only temporary bad quality plaster to my wounds.

I had an interesting afternoon at the Victoria and Albert  museum visiting an exhibition on the glamour of Italian fashion with my shortcourse classmates. Negative thoughts, guilt, regrets and sadness was still more present than ever. The fifth student actually, as I tried my best to concentrate on the research process. The class was uplifting in the end. Here I am at home, tireless but stronger against the urges to binge.

I realised during the sunny days wasted in bed that fo a while I will still surely be ambivalent about the fashion industry and the legal world. What my therapist would say “one foot in, one foot out”. May be I am simply one of those who cannot choose and will not choose between two great lovers. At least for a little while. The dream is to be able to do both. The reality is the inability to do either.

The lack of satisfying opportunity to be exact. I wish my creativity took up most of my time and generated sufficient financial returns. Sadly as I enquire more from professionals and others, it seems law is my safest bet. When I make that choice, I realise that I will have to accept it. I also need the time to allow myself to start and trust the decision. As I am writing this a rush of anxiety moves from my stomach to my throat.

While comparing myself to others, as I am used to doing. Bad habits die hard. I also observed that I am able to move forward when I accept my life, choices and body. Just own it all. The trick is to stay tuned with who I am and not fall in the trap of being a people pleaser when it is neither useful nor necessary. To get to acceptance comes with its challenges. Somehow when I acknowledge my present a giant weight lifts off. Such acceptance is only felt when I am being creative.

Right now, I wish the reasons giving this inner strength not to binge. This reassurance that nothing will harm me tonight. Not even myself. I wish these reasons were spelled out. This mystery that turns my shadows into light would be exposed. Brought to the open so that I can catch it and feed off it when I am lost, disconnected and in denial.

Sleepless. I still am.

Nothing will harm me tonight.

izaotee

A thought for my father

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If you have been reading the previous post. You would know that I walked out to the nearest starbucks for breakfast this morning. You might think it would be a trigger. Yet, I learned that it only becomes a trigger if I walk in while in a vulnerable place inside. So fragile that all I would want to do is escape. Reach for that fix. Run away from emotions that make me human.  I only needed a change of scene. I stayed in my apartment all day yesterday and it smelled like regrets, guilt and binge.

No make-up on, hair like a cave woman, clothes not matching. I needed to get out. Get some perspective. Get some space from my space. Then, after my little morning outing and grocery shopping. I came back to my niche. I broke down crying while printing images for my design research and listening to music. I cried because I missed my Dad. The thought was triggered as I was processing the bad news I received on tuesday. My cousin past away and lost her battle with breast cancer. She was only 32 years old. Diagnosed at 27. She left her husband and two boys of 9 and 7.

I wasn’t really close to her at all. My family always teased me about looking like her. Especially as she gained weight. To who-else compare the newly chubby girl than with the old chubby girl? I hated that comparison. She was also the youngest and only daughter. Any death is sad though I was never very close to her. Even so, it made think about my father and his passing. The void that he had left. Times I wish I spent with him, words I wish I had said. I never allowed myself the right to grieve until I started therapy again about a year ago. I thought that just like my mother, I was at peace with his departure. A lie. I was tirelessly restricting trying to be the perfect daughter.

Now, I let myself, miss him in the comfort of my room or my apartment here in London. Away from the stares and opinions. I truly miss him. I wish he was here. I wonder how things would differ if he was. Would I have held my ground and kept myself together? Would I have continued to keep a facade, try to the best of my ability to make my parents and brothers proud? Or would the real me, denied of the rights to freely live still push itself out anyway and demand its place in my world?

In a way, I believe not much would have changed. I would still discover my love for arts, face my struggles with food, continue to doubt my abilities to deal with those in the legal field. With or without him. Even if he was and always will be a part of me and has left an unforgettable print in my life, I cannot help but become the true person I am meant to be. Denying myself the right to “be who I am” in his presence or absence would still lead me to self-abuse.

Caught up in my overthinking. I miss my father. As simple a thought as that.

xoxoxoxo

I.

If only the World was empty

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Monday after my therapy I feel back into the comfort of my bed until 10 30 a.m.

I had two goals that morning. First: internalise that I can do all the things that I am meant to. All the things that I want to do. Second: avoid a morning binge on pastries because it only sets my day into a painful spiral of obsessing about food thus leading me to overeat or binge. There I was abusing my sleep, my head pounding as if I had been out drinking all night.

I wanted to feel some sort of real joy. Naturally, it means getting in touch with my creative soul. So I woke up, put on my baggiest clothes and headed to the university of arts library. There, I indulged into some photography books. Desperately searching for inspiration for my fashion design project. I remembered days when I would stay in the library until 4 a.m at law school. I was there finishing my assignment or revising, but most time I was there to be. The library is a place of solace for me.

When I was first diagnosed with anorexia. Family, friends, and doctors had warned me about the likelihood of dying after such a long period of starvation. One of the main reasons I fought to get better was the dream of reading all those books around me. I was once blurted to my brother that I wish I could read them all. I never wanted to be a know it all. But there is just something about being surrounded by books, picking a random one and trying to understand and remember what is written. It chases my ghosts away.

Three may be four hours I spent in that library. Then it was time to go home. Did some grocery shopping as I felt some the anxiety slowly fading and a motivation to live a healthier life settle in. Dinner was fine. Sadly the ghost of loneliness paid a visit. I ended up almost finishing the box of pop tarts. Full and regretful. I forced myself to sleep. No day is ever perfect.

Tuesday morning, I woke up with a heavy weight of fear and shame. I needed to continue with my research. Unfortunately, yesterday’s motivation had disappeared. So, I willingly procrastinated. I left it all to tomorrow. Until then, there are hours to kill. I watched movies, ate and slept. I knew what I was doing, or not doing. I was aware of my deliberate waste of time. Regardless, I still felt guilty. There isn’t much to say about tuesday. I manage to complete two sketches and ate way too much.

Today, wednesday is a sunny one. Outside at least. Within it is still dark, filled with guilty and anxiety. I pulled myself out of bed to end up at this starbucks cafe across the road. My appartment smells like binges. It is haunted by painful memories of my irresponsibility. My throat is closing up at this very moment, my heart racing. Regretting my past dark week. I am out of bed, having breakfast after being obsessed about food all morning.

My anxiety as I understand it right now is due to procrastinating. Bills I have to pay for my shop. Unemployment. Loneliness. Guilt. Fear of an uncertain future. Worries about my arts and law. Binges. All mashed up into one. I wish the world was empty. I wish noone was here. I wish I could roam the streets aimlessly without thsi irrational fear of being watched, judged, seen.

xoxo

I.

Food doesn’t work

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Yesterday and today have been horrible. I try not to complain too much but the lack of interesting happenings in my life during those two days are taking a toll on my mood. Part of the reasons that are making me feel this way is the fact that I am still unemployed. Since I graduated I tried internships, opening a business, applying for jobs, networking. None of which worked. I tried it both in law for which I have a degree in and in fashion for which I am passionate. So these past two days I have trying to cheer myself up. But nothing ! I ended up trying to find something to do in between meals. Watching movies and spending the days in bed. I also painted but my whole heart was not into it.

I started applying for jobs again. Online and using some networking. I have no idea how long that will take. Regardless I am most worried about how long I will be in this state. I feel as if I am letting my life slip away while I fixate on my failures.

I was never the going-out, surrounded by friends type of person. Though I tricked myself into thinking that I was because it was what others did. First year of university was when I really went out there. Made friends. Unfortunately they were erasmus students, so they left the next year. Loneliness does not agree well with me. I have had trouble making friends ever since. Well, that part of my past ties in with my move to any country really. I am terrible at keeping on touch, as I categorise those I meet with different chapters of my life. Chapters in which I never seemed to be the same person. Where I would mould myself to the new environment and fail to really be in touch with who I really am.

So here I am back in London with one friend V. She has been spending time with me, but she works, so she has limited time to. Since I am unemployed I have very little social interactions. I feel alone. There is another reason for my sadness. I can’t seem to pick myself up. I want to apply for jobs. I wish I could stay here in London forever but because of my visa I can’t. The prospect of going home is painful. I don’t fit-in there. I don’t feel comfortable. I feel caged. There is yet another reason.

Right now I wish I had the courage to put on the baggiest clothes and buy some art materials. Come back and sink into my sketch book. If only I could generate money by doing that and only that. I wouldn’t even care if law was on the side. If only. In the mean time I turn to food for comfort and escape. It really doesn’t do the trick. I refuse to eat all day so when I don’t eat. I am still lost, the reasons are still there so present. I have conversations in my head to quiet the negative thoughts when I get tired. I simply fall asleep. Another day goes by.

I could write forever. I have no conclusions. Just that I am still frowning inside and out.

izaotee

New day ! Wednesday

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I was nervous about fashion class yesterday. It was a field trip. Gaining all this weight back and more reminds me of embarassing moments. Times when I couldn’t walk as fast as the rest of the class. When I would pretend to laugh and complain inside if I couldn’t enjoy hiking with my brother. When I was picked last at team sports. I had urges, thoughts about a cookies and more. I was genuinely hungry. So I had a cereal bar.

At coffee time after our retail research I had a chai tea latte. It was in a food hall at Selfridges. I was surrounded by food while stressed in class. Not the best of all situation. During our discussion I thought about a box of pop tarts. Well because I heard about them in movies and wondered what they would taste like. Buying a whole box would not be wise in this moment of weakness.

When the class ended we all walked out. I was the fattest. Embarrassed to buy that pop tart box. I walked out. In the streets on my way home I felt proud. Once again for not giving in.

One day I hope food will simply be an accessory to my life. Not the whole outfit.

Staying away from temptation

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Today started off weirdly well.

I was woken up by a facebook message from the “artist”. A guy I have been on and off with. I welcomed his virtual hellos without reading too much into it. I thought of food. Then pushed the ideas of indulgent sinful breakfast away. I had soya milk and coffee instead, carelessly. Without planning or obsessing. I then cleaned my appartment. Picking up traces of my last overeating experiences. Honestly I still fit in the muffin, flapjacks and popcorns throughout the day. I have them in the comfort of my bed watching a serie. Why? Out of boredom, to kill time.

Then the guilty feelings settle in. Guilt for not applying to a job, for taking another easy day. Truth is. I feel terrible for being unemployed. I had imagined a completly different life at this age. At least I have been brave enough to pursue another obsession. Arts, fashion. So today instead of eating too much. I worked on some photos for my fashion page. Applied to a work placement with a designer. I doubt I’ll ever be considered but you don’t fail unless you try right?

Then I was debating going out and getting some beauty products. The streets are a little bit of a challenge these days. Although I love the sense of invisibility in London. I hate my appearance. I have not been this big ever. I have not weighed myself but my dress size is off the chart. So going out there feeling like the ugliest ducklin isn’t pleasant. I did anyways and I needed lunch as well. I did not overeat. But I still managed to eat a flapjack. I ate at my dinning table. I worked on some pictures a little longer.

Sobriety was taking a toll on my energy level. I wanted to watch a movie in bed. I realised that I usually do this to distract myself from focusing on the fact that I can’t find a job either in law or arts, that I am still torn between the two and feel as if there has to be an answer somewhere. When I do that I forget to enjoy the experience of figuring it all out. Then my mind drifted to food. How proud I felt for not giving into temptation with the exception of the 350 cal flapjack. Yet there I was, struggling to determine more reasons for needing my drug. Loneliness, boredom, fear of failure.

V one of my friends from university, a close one, as close as my definition of a friendship is, is coming over. I want to plan a shoot in the streets of London. I was nervous about her visit. Her judgments really. She has seen me supposedly obsessed about my body image, loosing the weight and now back in my XL clothes. I was embarrased of what she might think. If a few months ago this would have driven me to planning food. These days, I try to let the fear be, making sure it does not consume me. She came we talked, laughed. My project is a test shoot with a model whom I would style. I have never done this here in London. I am starting to get used to it in Madagascar though. The logistics are much easier there. But I won’t find out unless I try it here.

The evening was obviously terrifying. Night time is when my evils come out and attack me. I had a croissant with ham and cheese and a magnum ice cream. I avoid keeping food in my apartment that I can easily reach for. Again to stay away from temptation. I hope it won’t be like this forever. Right now I am too fragile to do otherwise.

I bought a box of alpen muesli and skimmed milk for breakfast. I ended up mixing the muesli to a batter I prepared for a binge on pancake early in the afternoon. I did not give into that binge. Well I mixed it and fried it. Tasted it and it was disgusting. If this was months ago I would have proceeded to having it anyway. But I couldn’t. I am better than that. So I stopped. I still poured a bowl of muesli and milk and ate it in bed. That in my opinion was comfort eating.

In sum my day was venture to stay away from my fixes. I was trying to figure out the reasons and deal with them. While I was in bed trying to alleviate the pain and distract myself with a tv show. I ended up crying a little. Feeling weak and vulnerable. Saddened that it takes this much effort to stay away from food.

I don’t have much of a conclusion other than that it was a struggle. I made it without waking up the next morning with 1ton of guilt instead of 1000 tons.

Life is a struggle at times and I have to face it.
Fears, feelings, food are part of that battle but I can win it.

It is wednesday and I am trying again
Not to binge, to feel, to fight

I thought I did it… until

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Yesterday started off well.

Gym, no calorie counting, three meals and two snacks.

No fear of food or uncontrollable cravings.

When obsessive thoughts tried to settle in my mind I chased them away by sitting there and assessing what I was feeling in the moment.

Little conversations in my head to avoid clouding my judgment and running to food for its numbing effect. I told myself that I need not to be fearful or anxious about every little thing life throws at me. Why was I so scared of myself and my life. Enough already.

Shopped then went home. No stops for food. Did not feel the need to, did not want to.

I the evening I called my mum on Skype and prayed with her. I did not want to call her. It was not the prayer that I did not want to do, it was calling her. I just did not want to talk to her last night. I had no news to say. I was feeling good about myself. But I called anyways because I had promised to call her to pray everyday.

Truth is I wish I didn’t. I can tell her I don’t want to call but a little part of her dies every time. She gets sad when I don’t and worried I won’t pray. I wish she trusted me to pray on my own which I do. Tomorrow I am going to try and tell her tell her I don’t want to call or talk to her. Tell her I can pray on my own like an adult I am. I will try not to care about what she thinks or feels.

Anyway I guess that was the trigger to my downfall. Doing something I don’t want to do leads my mind to disconnect from my body. My brain drifts off to its sweet and devilish escape. It craves food. At the time I did not know why I wanted a fix. Now as I am writing I do. I once again drove myself into a trap : doing something I did not want to just to please another.

So I binged. To end the day. I wanted a different day. One that was clean. Not perfect. I am done with seeking perfection. What is the point? I will never find it. It is not worth the pain. I just want to live. That is all.

Lesson learned: Call mom tomorrow, no lies, tell her you can and you will pray on your own and that there is no need to call her every second of every day. You are grown now.

If I don’t I will be hurt- suppress- escape —- to food

I want to and I must

F for Fat not Fine

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It began at 2 am.
Could not sleep.
First thought Food. Obsession settles in again.
I tried to stay in bed, read, listen to music, watch a movie.
My back hurt from all the anxiety. The only place I felt comfortable was on the floor of my living room wrapped up in a bed cover.
I felt pain, sadness and fear trying to find a way out of me. I could not pin point what caused it.
Felt alone, missed my dad and was worried about people’s criticisms when they see me during my trip home at the end of the month.

Ashamed
20 kg in one month. I only accountable to myself I know. `Right now I feel I failed.
Failed ;myself for bingeing and not finding the willpower to fight it.
I try really hard and end up doing the most random things.
After I curled up on the floor. I went back to my bed and listened to music.
It only relieved the pain temporarily. I felt tears running down my face. What the heck was happening. I had no idea I had so much hurt cocooned inside of me. I just let it be. Laid there crying. Sat there crying. Pathetic? Who cares. I couldn’t careless. I needed those moments last night. Why? I still don’t know.

Staring to escape
Still sleepless. I ended up watching cars drive by my window. I enjoy observing things, people, cars, birds. Staring out there in an empty space. I like the idea that I can see them and they have no clue I am watching. Sounds creepy? I have no intention to hurt. I enjoy because I am sheltered from their thoughts and judgments, real or unreal. I just watch no criticisms or prejudice of whoever passes by. There by my window I stayed. Tears were still running down my cheeks.
I stayed there, as if I found a moment of peace until the urges came back again. It pulled me to a loaf of bread, a chocolate bar.

Exhausted from the fight
I am fighting. Constantly. Sometimes I just want to give up. Right now I do.
I can if I want to but I don’t want to entirely. I don’t want to wasted my life in a centre or begging for help to my family. It will only worsen whatever is happening.

I am not Fine and I feel Fat. I am> Overweight now. I am> trying to be in touch with my feelings. I want > out. I have had enough of Food taking control over my life.
I want out. An ending to this Binge.

Gymn ordeal 

So far in my journey, one way of learning to love myself is by taking care of myself. As I move past my unhealthy habits of getting down on myself and beating myself up through, for example, misusing food and exercise.

Exercise has been one of the toughest habits to implement. I have yet to have a healthy understanding and acceptance of it because I use to abuse of it. I used exercise not as a way of staying fit and being healthy but to loose weight faster even at my lowest point.

Eventually I understood that the goal is to move. But since even walking is challenging when I am self conscious even getting 10 mins of walking a day can be very difficult.

Last week I braved walking into the gymn. I had suspended my subscription for two months and tried to get out of my contract but I couldn’t. I have this contract until september so I decided to make use of it.

I went to the gymn for 40 mins on saturday. It was not physically straining but  definitely mentally taxing. I always want immediate results, then I am reminded of how heavy I am, how much I should loose. All the “shoulds” come back.

At least now I know the gymn is really not for me, at least not for now. I cannot even learn to like it. I have discovered Zumba though. I might give that another try once my gymn subscription is over. Until then I will brave the gymn when I want to. No pressure.

xoxoxo

I

Bittersweetly better

The struggle is real. When the world is caving in on me, I sometimes need a break to regroup. It has been about one month. While I regroup, at times I slip into a darker place where I have to face my unwanted emotions, mostly sadness. Other times I feel grounded, myself. This usually happens after I have faced sadness and pulled myself out into a lighter space. I really have to listen to what I want to be doing. Movie night ? A walk ? Cooking (yes cooking !) ? Sewing ? Reading ? Dancing in my appartment ? I then feel alive. Like a prisoner who had to face her worst enemy by doing something good for herself. 

Weird right ? 

Basically when I am in the selfloathing, self hating place, I have to tangibly and actively show myself that I am worth my love. 

Then I am back into living again. 

xoxox

I.